The Top Places to Visit Near Whangarei
Base yourself in Whangarei and enjoy an array of day trips to Northland’s major highlights. White-sand beaches, kauri forests, renowned scuba diving sites and more await – all under an hour’s drive of Whangarei. Whether you seek self-drive day trips from Whangarei or want to know the day tours from Whangarei, we’ll cover some of the best in this guide to the top day trips from Whangarei.
For more trip-planning advice, head over to The Complete Guide to Whangarei.
5 Best Day Tours from Whangarei
Before we move onto some of the self-drive day trips from Whangarei, here are some excellent day tours if you prefer not to drive yourself.
- Sandy Bay to Whananaki with Piwakawaka Tours (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Waipu Cove to Langs Beach with Piwakawaka Tours (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Cultural tour with Tu Tika Tours (on Viator and Tripadvisor)
- Tutukaka Coast Discoverer with Sole Ventures
- Bay of Islands Adventurer with Sole Ventures
The Best Day Trip from Whangarei for Couples
From stunning walks on land to world-class diving offshore, Tutukaka will certainly keep you busy for the whole day. Most famously, the small village is the launch point for snorkelling, kayaking and diving excursions to the Poor Knights Islands. Check out more about scuba diving on New Zealand Diving’s Viator and Tripadvisor pages. You’ll also find some stunning white-sand beaches at Whale Bay and Matapouri Bay.
For more inspiration for Tutukaka, check out the 10 Terrific Things to Do in Tutukaka.
The Best Day Trip from Whangarei for Families
Travel time by car: 30-40 minutes one-way
Glistening bays to rugged mountains, Whangarei Heads offers plenty to fill up an amazing day trip from Whangarei. A highlight along the Whangarei Heads Road is the hike up Mt Manaia taking approximately two hours to return. If beaches are more your thing, don’t miss the 5km (3-mile) stretch of white sand that is Ocean Beach.
Check out the 12 Fantastic Things to Do at Whangarei Heads for more ideas on activities.
The Best Day Trip from Whangarei for Budget Travellers
Yes, more brilliant beaches await at Waipu in the form of Ruakaka Beach, Langs Beach, Waipu Cove and Uretiti Beach. What adds something different to this day trip from Whangarei is exploring the glowworm-filled Waipu Caves and taking a dip in the cool waters of Piroa Falls.
Take a look at the 8 Brilliant Things to Do in Waipu & Bream Bay for more ideas on what to do.
Paihia and the Bay of Islands
The Best Day Trip from Whangarei for Foodies
Travel time by car: 1 hour one-way
Just an hour north of Whangarei, the Bay of Islands is home to significant historical sites and a wealth of water adventures. Cruise the bay with 144 islands on a spectacular tall ship with lunch included (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor) or learn about how New Zealand became a nation at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds (on Viator and Tripadvisor).
Explore some of the many activities in the area using our 10 Best Things to Do in the Bay of Islands.
The Best Day Trip from Whangarei for Luxury Travellers
Travel time by car: 45 minutes one-way
Head over to the west coast to experience another side of the Northland region; one that’s famous for harbouring the largest trees in New Zealand. Learn about the significance of the almighty kauri tree at The Kauri Museum (more info on Viator and Tripadvisor). Travel another 20 minutes up north and you’ll get an excellent example of these forest giants at the Trounson Kauri Park.
For more activities, check out the 10 Damn Good Things to Do in Dargaville.